SEN.TOM COTTON (R-ARKANSAS): OK, now I want to explore the so-called risk balance between recidivism of released terrorists and the propaganda value that terrorists get from Guantanamo Bay. How many recidivists are there at Guantanamo Bay right now?
BRIAN MCKEON, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY FOR DEFENSE POLICY: I'm not sure I follow the question, there are --
TOM COTTON: How many inmates at Guantanamo Bay are engaged in terrorism or anti-American incitement?
BRIAN MCKEON: There are none--
TOM COTTON: Because they are detained. They can only engage in that kind of recidivism overseas.
Now let's look at the propaganda value: How many detainees were at Guantanamo Bay on September 11, 2001?
BRIAN MCKEON: None.
TOM COTTON: How many were therein October 2000, when al-Qaeda bombed the U.S.S. Cole?
BRIAN MCKEON: Zero.
TOM COTTON: What about in 1998 when they bombed the embassies [in Kenya and Tanzania]?
BRIAN MCKEON: The facility was not open before 2002, Senator.
TOM COTTON: What about 1993 and the first World Trade Center bombing?
BRIAN MCKEON: Same answer.
TOM COTTON: And 1979 when Iran took over our embassy? Or 1983 when Hezbollah bombed our Marine Baracks in Lebanon? The answer is zero.
BRIAN MCKEON: Correct.
TOM COTTON: Islamic terrorists do not need an excuse to attack the United States, to attack us is what they do, they attack us for what we are.
It is not your decision. It is a political promise the president made on his campaign. To say [closing the base] is a security decision based propaganda value that our enemies get from it is a pretext to justify a political decision.
In my opinion the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is there are too many empty beds and cells there right now. We should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe. As far as I'm concerned every last one of them can rot in Hell, but as long as they don't do that they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.